Tips on How to Improve Your Hotel's Digital Marketing Strategy

Providing an insightful analysis and ten key tips to increase your chances of success within the digital marketplace

By Mark Brown Sales & Digital Marketing Director, Great Hotels of the World | November 25, 2012

With so much competition, it is extremely difficult to make your property stand out online. Technology is progressing so quickly, it is easy to get left behind while other properties steal the limelight. Digital marketing, especially for hotels, is becoming increasingly complex. Hotels now have to think about how to compete for guests in new channels, at every stage of the booking journey.

The five stages of the booking journey are:

  • Dreaming: 68% of business travellers watch travel-related online videos.

  • Planning: The average traveller visits ~22 travel-related sites during 9.5 research sessions prior to booking.

  • Booking: 37% of leisure travellers report that the internet prompted them to book, up from 28% two years ago.

  • Experiencing: 70% of business travellers check-in to their flights/hotel via their mobile device. Almost 1 in 4 hotel queries come from a mobile phone.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.